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British Industrial History

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William Ford Smith

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William Ford Smith (1830-1904)

1830 Born in Bath, son of William Ford Smith, cashier.

1857 An engineer, when he married Harriott Elizabeth Dunstan in Manchester[1]

1863 William Ford Smith, Smith and Coventry, Gresley Iron Works, Ordsal lane, Salford.[2]

1871 William Ford Smith 40, engineer, employing 95 hands, lived in Broughton, Salford, with Harriett E Smith 37, Harriett L Smith 12, Amy F Smith 11, Blanche B Smith 7, Edith A Smith 5, Ernest D Smith 2[3]

1901 William Ford Smith 70, machine tool maker, employer, and Harriett E Smith 63, lived in Didsbury, also in the household Amy F Richards 41, their daughter, and George T Richards 18, their grandson, an engineer's apprentice[4]


1904 Obituary [5]

WILLIAM FORD SMITH, the founder and chairman of Smith and Coventry Ltd., of Salford, died in October, 1904, at his residence in Manchester, in his seventy-fourth year.

Born at Bath, on February 1, 1830, the son of an engineer who conducted the works now carried on under the style of Siddeley & Co., he received his training as an engineer at the Collegiate Institution of Liverpool. After his collegiate course he spent a year at the locomotive and marine engineering works of Bury, Curtis & Kennedy, of Liverpool, proceeding thence to take up a position of responsibility at his father's works.

When nineteen years of age he joined the staff of the Shrewsbury & Chester Railway workshops, continuing there for over two years, when he became attached to the firm of Sharp, Roberts & Co., which then, as through subsequent variations of title, was one of the foremost locomotive-building concerns in the country.

In the early fifties he began business for himself, first at the Bonding Warehouse, Chapel Street, Salford, and a year later was joined by Mr. Arthur Coventry. The works of the company at Ordsal Lane, Salford, were designed and constructed under the supervision of Mr. Ford Smith in 1859. He was a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1877.


1904 Obituary [6]



1904 Obituary [7]



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Parish records
  2. 1863 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  3. 1871 census
  4. 1901 census
  5. 1904 Iron and Steel Institute: Obituaries
  6. The Engineer 1904/10/07 p349
  7. Engineering 1904 Jul-Dec: Index: General Index